While the holiday festivities are right around the corner, the shopping season has been underway for a majority of the U.S population since the beginning of November. According to a recent survey by CreditCards.com, about 23% of holiday shoppers anticipate to finish shopping by the end of this month. With that being said, as a business owner, it is important to stay on top of what’s happening in the retail industry and to consistently look for innovative ways to meet consumer demands as well when you plan for the holiday season.
Mobile commerce will remain a popular investment for business owners
As the holiday season approaches, it is important for retailers to be prepared to keep up with the crowds and the tech savvy demands of consumers. According to a report by Custora, on Thanksgiving of 2014, 52.1% of consumers used mobile devices for transactions which continued through the end of December. Mobile commerce is a great opportunity for retailers to provide meaningful customer service beyond the check-out line. Nowadays, having a responsive and mobile-optimized website is not just a competitive advantage; it is a competitive requirement.
Coupons keep consumers coming back for more
During the holidays, a large number of consumers spend less money. Whether purchasing in-store or online, consumers of all types are always looking for a bargain, making coupon promotions a quick and smart way to upsurge holiday sales. According to a recent survey conducted by RetailMeNot, 62% of consumers search for coupons for online retailers prior to buying. For example, Banana Republic differentiates their coupon promotions, offering 30% off of sale items using coupon code BREXTRA30. The store offered free shipping in conjunction with this coupon in conjunction which is a great way to build strong customer engagement and appeal.
By continuing to offer coupons in-store or online for weeks or months at a time (especially throughout the holidays), you can encourage further transactions and attract new consumers. By providing an expiration date, coupons deliver a built-in visual appeal and bring a sense of urgency to customers to buy immediately.
Showrooming will continue to take center stage
Throughout the last few years, a number of large retailers have shown concern about this “showrooming” trend in which consumers shop in-store, then take to the web to purchase from a discount competitor. However, during this upcoming holiday shopping season, many merchants are utilizing showrooming as a positive opportunity and with the help of in-store analytics, will aim to transfigure showroomers into brick-and-mortar shoppers.
Today, customers expect a lot from their relationships with retailers and brands. Retailers with physical stores offer consumers a meaningful and engaging shopping experience that no online store can. When searching for the perfect present, shoppers often look to sales associates to assist them with specific details about the merchandise, gift wrapping, etc. Having your store associates pull product and inventory data will help engage busy holiday shoppers and ultimately provide exceptional customer service.
Email marketing will be a popular promotional tool
In 2014, a survey from MailChimp showed that 100% of measured retailers used email marketing as part of their holiday promotions; including businesses that didn’t typically send promotional emails utilized the tool. That being said, this year, we will expect to see a number of retailers sending automated emails in which shoppers will receive follow-up messages when they make a holiday transaction. The specific follow-up emails are intended to generate additional sales and keep those holiday shoppers coming back throughout the entire year. Additionally, each piece of your consumer’s shopping journey should be customized; including the emails they receive from your business. In order to push growth for eCommerce, email marketers are personalizing each email that goes out to each individual consumer.
In order to help better forge stronger relationships with shoppers to keep coming back, it’s important to stay in the know about the latest trends and do whatever it takes to provide an enjoyable shopping experience for your customers all season long.